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October 20th, from 6-7:30, Storytelling with Christi Furnas and Caitlin Skaalrud

Posted on August 31, 2016

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Join us Thursday, October 20, from 6-7:30pm for a reading and discussion about mental health and storytelling with artists Christi Furnas and Caitlin Skaalrud.

Caitlin Skaalrud is the author of the graphic novel, Houses of the Holy, which visually explores the personal experience of living with depression. Christi Furnas will be reading from her mini-comic, Crazy Like a Fox, Adventures in Schizophrenia. The comic is part of a larger project to create a full-length graphic novel.

In Crazy Like a Fox, the main character, Fox Foxerson, battles with symptoms of mental illness and the reactions of friends, while navigating the health care system. While Furnas experienced this, her work is not a memoir. It is a novel with jellyfish, monsters, a dodo bird, and sock puppet doctors. She approaches the intense subject with playful lines and a sense of humor, starting conversations around mental health and creative storytelling in a way that is accessible. Furnas intentionally keeps Fox’s character genderless with the hope that anyone can see themselves in Fox’s shoes.

Christi Furnas is a Minneapolis based artist who works in both pen and ink, and oil. She has exhibited in group and juried shows in venues such as Minneapolis Institute of Art, Altered Esthetics, Soo Visual Arts Center, Rosalux Gallery, and Augsburg College. The Advocate magazine named her one of the Forty Under 40 most inspiring people in 2012 for her work as a community arts organizer and mental health advocate. Furnas was awarded a VSA Emerging Artist Grant through the Jerome Foundation in 2014. She is a 2016 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant.

Caitlin Skaalrud reaches into the psyche for its limitless narrative potential. On her project, Houses of the Holy, Skaalrud describes her protagonist as, “in search of her essential, endlessly renewable "self" and finds her idea of herself is running out.” She creates a character in infinite transformation, destroying and recreating identity.

Caitlin Skaalrud is a cartoonist, organizer, teacher, aspiring astrologist, and publisher behind comics micro-press Talk Weird Press in Minneapolis, where she lives with her partner and a cat named Howl. She is a recipient of a 2012 Xeric Self-Publishing Grant for Sea Change: A Choose-Your-Own-Way Story and is Skaalrud is a graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Her first word was Batman. Caitlin exhibited some of the original drawings for Houses of Holy at SooVAC in 2013.

Christi Furnas is a fiscal year 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
 

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